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Club-button American Asian Italian Latin dine guide



Is there a more swank and relaxing cocktail than the martini? Served straight up, shaken, not stirred, with a twist or dirty, the martini has been called "the elixir of quietude.” And if you’re looking for a little martini madness, there’s no better place to venture to than Nic’s Beverly Hills.

Since 1997, Larry Nicola’s Nic’s has been a hip vodka lounge and restaurant that aptly mixes the restaurateur’s passion for cooking, art and music in a sleek, posh, comfortable and colorful setting. Home to one of the most potent martinis in town, the signature "Nic's Martini" is a straight up, in your face, powerful drink. Sip it and have just one or your night may go haywire (which could be fun too). Made with Beluga Vodka, served straight up with Nic’s Bella Olive, this will make any hour a happy one.


A must-have starter item is Nic's Oysters sautéed on spinach with walnuts and garlic. They’re famous at Nic’s and really are a spectacular dish. You’ll be hard pressed to find better and they pair so well with a vodka martini.

Another great starter item is the Vodka Cured Salmon on pumpernickel raisin crostini, served with caper dill aioli. It’s light and fresh and so delectable. Other winning items to share include the Bite Sized Baked Potatoes with crème fraiche, caviar and chives; the Watermelon & Goat Cheese Salad with toasted pistachio, radish sprout and white balsamic; the Bowl of Roasted Tulsa-Tokyo Chicken Wings; and the French Fried Artichokes with malt vinegar and Aji Amarillo Aioli.

If you’re looking for another round of drinks, there are plenty to choose from. If you started with something sugary, you may want to switch to something with a little more bite, such as the Last Mango in Paris made with Milagro Silver Tequila, fresh mango juice and lime. It goes down easy and still offers a bit of a bite. The Latin Lover made with jalapeño infused Tito's Vodka with Olive Brine and jalapeño stuffed olives is wicked spicy, and the Sazerac, mixed with Bulleit Bourbon, Ricard Pastis, Peychaud’s bitters and orange peel is a good, stiff drink without being as potent as Nic’s Martini.

At Nic’s, Nicola combines imaginative modern American fare with a multitude of ethnic influences reflecting the culinary diversity and vibe of the city as well as Nicola's extensive international travel. The culture at Nic's Beverly Hills pairs one of America's most dynamic martini bars, including Nicola's own creation VODBOX, with inspired urban cuisine where steaks and spa are equally at home.

And no trip to Nic’s is complete without a visit to the VODBOX, the ultimate walk-in, drink-in exhibitionist freezer designed solely for the enjoyment of vodka in its purest form. Glass and stainless steel coat the freezer's exterior while white leather shelving lines the room with hundreds of bottles, from the fashionable and exclusive to the obscure, while the center table (a wooden Nicola family heirloom, circa 1945) is prepared for tastings led by Vodkateur Larry Nicola or one of his "Vodka Impresarios."

Before entering the VODBOX, guests are provided with faux fur coats/hats (leopard or black). Once inside the 28°F freezer, your vodka expert will walk you through the variable plethora of vodka choices you have, and can even make you some tasty vodka cocktails with vodkas as the sole ingredients. If you request the VODBOX as part of your dining experience, your vodka ambassador will approach your table in between appetizers and entrées and invite you into the VODBOX. After the tasting, you will return to your table for the main course.

Speaking of entrées, the Oxtail Ravioli with Beet-Barolo Jus and Daikon slaw is a winner, as is the Pan Seared Fillet with blueberries and crispy onions. The P.E.I. Mussels with Beer Marguez Sausage and Seaweed is great to share early in the night or as an entrée as well.

Dessert options include Bison Bar Pecans with ?ubrówka Vodka and Creme Chantilly, as well as Strawberry Pie. But you may also want to go the liquid dessert route as there are plenty of sweet and savory martinis to select.

Nic’s Beverly Hills takes after its founder; it’s fashionable, high energy and good company for a fun night out. With Happy Hour all night Monday, and 4-7pm the rest of the week, including Saturday, Nic’s is home to a swinging good time.

Nic’s Beverly Hills is located at 453 N. Canon Drive. Hours: Monday-Wednesday 4pm to 12am; Thursday-Saturday 4pm to 2am. Call 310-550-5707

By: Jose Martinez.










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